UPDATED: Indian Punjab CM calls off meeting with Pakistani HC over Gurdaspur incident
The meeting between Parkash Singh Badal and Pakistan HC Abdul Basit was to be held on July 29 in Chandigarh.
Harcharan Bains, advisor to chief minister on national affairs and media, said that the meeting was called off “in view of terror incident at Dinanagar in Gurdaspur district”.
Latest reports from across the border suggest that without having the initial investigations done into the Gurdaspur attack, Indian authorities have cancelled the Pakistan-India cricket series.
Our correspondent Shahid Hashmi quoted the secretary of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) saying that there can be no cricket between the two countries as long as complete peace and harmony is not established.
Meanwhile, Pakistan has condemned the Gurdaspur terrorist incident in strongest of words.
In a release issued by the Foreign Office (FO) of Pakistan, the spokesperson expressed sorrow over loss of precious lives in Gurdaspur and stated, “Our thoughts are with the bereaved families”.
At 5.30 Indian Standard Time (5 pm in Pakistan), the Punjab police said that the attack on the Gurdaspur police station had come to an end and that all the attackers had been killed. The police had also said earlier that a woman was among the attackers.
The men, dressed in army uniforms, were holed up in the police station, officials said. Gunshots could be heard on television as security forces surrounded the police station in the town of Dinanagar, about 20 km from the border.
Indian IB accuses Pakistan
According to Times of India, the Indian Intelligence Bureau said the terrorists who attacked the police station had come from Narowal in Pakistan.
While the counter-intelligence IG of Indian Punjab says terrorists who attacked the police station were from Lashkar-e-Taiba or Jaish-e-Muhammad.
Security forces at Gurdaspur terror attack site (visuals delayed by unspecified interval) https://t.co/JnCjFfofyN
— ANI (@ANI_news) July 27, 2015
The dead included four civilians and two policemen, said H.S. Dhillon, a senior Punjab police officer. Some others were injured, he said.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh said he had spoken to the head of Border Security Force and “instructed him to step up the vigil on India-Pakistan border”.
The MHA is monitoring the situation in Gurudaspur and Punjab. I am confident that the situation will be soon brought in control.
— Rajnath Singh (@BJPRajnathSingh) July 27, 2015
“I am confident that the situation will soon be brought under control,” he said in a Twitter message.
Gurdaspur is also on the border of the troubled Jammu and Kashmir state, while Punjab has its own history of militancy. India accuses old enemy Pakistan of training and arming militants in both Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir, which Islamabad denies.
India fought a deadly Sikh insurgency in Punjab in the 1980s that peaked with the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi at the hands of her Sikh bodyguards in 1984.
Pictures of civilians who left the area when SWAT teams reached the area where encounter began 1 hour ago.Delayed pix pic.twitter.com/Nu7PWNWzBJ
— ANI (@ANI_news) July 27, 2015
The attack was in retaliation to her decision to order the army to flush out militants from the Golden Temple in Amritsar, the holiest shrine of the Sikh community.
Sikh militant groups were demanding an independent homeland for minority Sikhs at the time, which they called Khalistan.
The group of about five attackers came in a white Maruti-Suzuki car, dressed in army uniforms, Harcharan Bains, an adviser to Punjab’s chief minister, told Reuters.
Five bombs were also found on a railway track in the state, suggesting a coordinated series of attacks around the time India is marking the anniversary of a near-war with Pakistan in northern Kashmir in 1999.
Such attacks are relatively common in the disputed Kashmir region, which is divided between India and Pakistan and claimed in full by both.
But neighbouring Punjab, a majority-Sikh state, has largely been spared the violence that has plagued Indian Kashmir for decades.
Last November a suicide bomber killed at least 55 people on the Pakistan side of the Wagah border in Punjab, the main Pakistan-India border crossing.
Monday’s attack comes weeks after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif spoke for about an hour during a summit in Russia, raising hopes of an improvement in perennially difficult relations. – Agencies